the high kind of medium

Seamus turned six yesterday. I have a summer birthday too, and always found it kind of a letdown to not be in school with my friends for my big day. So I was determined to make his day special. I prepared him exactly what he requested for breakfast– scrambled egg whites, ham, and a Thomas’ corn-muffin-flavored Toast-R-Cake. (We can go through a pack of those a day in our house.) Then he opened two presents. Then, off to day camp he went, where his counselors presented him with a cake at lunchtime, and all the Cayugas sang to him while he stood on the table. After camp, we were off to the candy store and an excellent magic show which made lots of Harry Potter-esque references without actual copyright infringement. Then we went out to dinner and had ice cream. Then we came home and he got ready for bed. Now THAT, I thought to myself, was one cool birthday. 


I helped Seamus rinse off his toothbrush. “Wasn’t that an amazing day?” I asked him. 


He said nothing.


“Did you have an awesome birthday, Shea?” I prompted.


“Yes,” he murmured, in a dead-eyed, zombie, totally overstimulated and overtired sort of way.


Seamus is an under-reactor in the extreme, so I knew he wasn’t going to turn cartwheels, but the thing about my now not-so-little boy is that it is sometimes hard to tell if he is enjoying himself, or not. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get more excitement out of him. But in the last six years, I have often forgotten that his state of calm content is his version of perfectly happy, and that he doesn’t really need much to get there. In planning his birthday day, I had probably gone far beyond what was required– or even desired.


This morning, I cut up some peaches that were going bad anyway, threw them in the blender with some orange juice and yogurt, and made a smoothie. I poured Seamus a big glass, and he finished every drop.


“Fanks, Mommy, dat was delicious,” he said politely.


Finally! The approbation I had sought.


“You really liked it?” I said, fishing for more.


“I did,” Seamus nodded. “I would say it was the high kind of medium.”